April 25, 2014

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: What Law Schools Can Teach Colleges About Lowering Tuition:

And yet overall, college tuition keeps on rising. Which raises the questions: If law schools can reduce their tuition, why can’t other parts of higher education? And do institutions only lower their prices when demand falls?

“I don’t think it’s the case that law schools can do it and colleges can’t,” said Charles Clotfelter, a Duke University economist. “It’s that law schools have done it and colleges have not.” Farish agreed. There is no reason law schools and undergraduate schools alike can’t find ways to save students money, he said. Roger Williams has also frozen tuition for undergraduates, keeping it at $29,976 annually.

“A lot of schools are being, frankly, unimaginative,” Farish said. “It’s abundantly clear that the rising costs of the past 20 years have collided with the economic realities. At the risk of indicting an entire industry, I think we’ve been kind of lazy in our thinking. We always just pass on the costs to students and their families.”

Yes, but colleges will have to change. They’re just a few years behind law schools in all of this.